Council advises local residents to continue to follow current health guidelines
Earlier this week, following scientific and health advice, the UK government raised the coronavirus alert level from three to four meaning that transmission of the virus is now high or rising at an increasing rate.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, have announced a range of new coronavirus restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19.
The new restrictions focus on no household visits and a 10pm closing time for all hospitality settings.
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the lives of many families.Depute Council Leader, Norman Hampshire
Inside people’s homes
- Do not meet people from any other households in your home or another person’s home socially, unless they are in your extended household
- These rules also apply to children
- Children whose parents do not live in the same household can move between homes, as can non-cohabiting couples
- Tradespeople are exempt from this ruling so repairs and essential maintenance within council houses will continue. If a visit to a home has been deemed necessary then all appropriate precautions will be in place to protect both the residents and staff.
Private gardens or public outdoors spaces
- A maximum of six people from two households can meet in outdoor spaces
- You should limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day
- Under-12s do not count towards the maximum number of households or number of people who can meet outdoors. Under-12s do not have to physically distance
- A maximum of six 12 to 17 year olds can meet in outdoor spaces, with no household limit. Physical distancing is still required
Indoors in public spaces
- A maximum of six people from two households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants
- Children under 12 from those two households do not count towards the limits
- Pubs, restaurants and all hospitality settings will be required to close at 10pm
- Table service will continue to be required in all hospitality premises
- You should only car share with members of your own, or extended, household, and follow guidance when there is no alternative
The council, meanwhile, is liaising closely with NHS Lothian’s Health Protection Team ensuring that the identification of confirmed cases within school and community settings is managed appropriately in line with clear procedures.
Depute Council Leader Norman Hampshire said: “COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the lives of many families. It’s very clear that that this pandemic has not gone away – it still presents a significant risk to public health, including to communities here in East Lothian.
“We’re grateful to local people for their support in the fight against COVID-19. Folk have been tremendously supportive of each other, looking out for neighbours and vulnerable people.
“We must all continue to enjoy our special county safety and responsibly and to follow the really important national health advice, remembering ‘FACTS’ and we would encourage everyone to download the recently-launched Protect Scotland app – it’s free and enables users to be notified fast if they’ve been in close contact with another user who has the virus.”
A small number of positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed within local schools in recent weeks.
Councillor Hampshire added: “The confirmation of any case within a school setting is understandably concerning for parents and carers but we can reassure families that we are working closely with NHS Lothian’s Health Protection Team and following all national guidance. The health and safety of all our children and young people, staff and the wider school community is our top priority.
“Prior to and since the start of the new school session, we have taken many precautions. This includes enhanced cleaning, arrangements for school transport and changes to the way in which pupils access and move around schools. This helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 and means that, if a positive case of the virus is identified, Public Health teams can confidently identify who has been in contact with that person.
“Parents/carers of children who have been in direct contact with a confirmed case will be contacted and asked to stay at home.
“If parents/carers are not contacted then their child can continue to attend school providing they and the rest of the household are well.
“If a child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school. Parents/carers should arrange for their child to be tested and all household members should stay at home during this time.
“It has been a hugely difficult period and we have been always clear that the progress made in recent months was fragile. Recent developments in East Lothian and elsewhere highlight the fact that there is absolutely no room for complacency.”
We're re-iterating that it’s essential to follow national public health advice and remember ‘FACTS’:
- F - face coverings in enclosed spaces, within shops and on public transport;
- A - avoid crowded places;
- C - clean hands and surfaces regularly;
- T - two-metre social distancing;
- S - self-isolate and book a test if you develop coronavirus symptoms.
People are also encouraged to download the free Protect Scotland app – it means you can be quickly alerted if you’ve been in close contact with another user who has the virus. People who previously were shielding do not need to shield at this time but can register for updates by texting 07860 064525 with your CHI number at the top of your shielding letter or go to www.mygov.scot/shielding for further information.